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02-03-2015

Airplane Made with C-Ply Wins JEC Innovation Award

At the JEC Europe – Composites Show and Conferences on 10-12 March 2015, KittyHawk, the airplane made with C-Ply and designed by VX Aerospace, Morganton, NC/USA, will receive the JEC Composites Magazine Special Prize.

KittyHawk boasts a 40% smaller carbon footprint thanks to the use of C-Ply (figure: Chomarat)

KittyHawk boasts a 40% smaller carbon footprint thanks to the use of C-Ply (figure: Chomarat)

The VX-1 KittyHawk stands out from other aircraft thanks to its original blended-wing carbon structure. It takes the well-known advantages of traditional blended-wing aircraft and associates them with today’s state-of-the-art concepts, materials and manufacturing techniques. This configuration combines dynamic stability and aerodynamic efficiency. In addition, thanks to the use of high-performance composites, the structure has low density, high damage tolerance and fewer parts.

The C-Ply composite reinforcements developed by Chomarat, Le Cheylard,France are designed to optimize the fiber performance. They give the structure properties like low weight, structural efficiency, durability and make it easier to manufacture. These properties and the innovative aircraft design allow for a large payload space. Furthermore, for the same payload space, its carbon footprint can be reduced compared to other aircraft through the optional use of alternative fuels such as compressed natural gas (CNG). When CNG is used, the VX-1 KittyHawk emits 40% less pollution than other aircraft.

C-Ply is the fruit of collaborative work between Chomarat and Stanford University’s Dr. Steven Tsai, who developed the concept of bi-angle thin-ply NCF. “We are very enthused to be partners with a recipient of the JEC Innovation Award in the JEC Magazine Special Award category. The history of C-Ply started at JEC Asia 2010, when we met Dr. Tsai, and now here we are, rewarded as a partner for an aerospace project!” said Chomarat Group General Manager Michel Cognet.

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